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About Merlin

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    Proto Star
  1. Merlin

    Russian Binoculars

    I had a pair of 20X60 TENTO binoculars. They were very good, but the leather case stank like a barrel of rotting kippers.
  2. Merlin

    Thanking my lucky stars

    It can help if we paint the knobs white, the better that we can see them in the dark.
  3. Merlin

    Cleaning a 12" mirror

    You might get some useful tips here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TObET2F-EA .
  4. Merlin

    What was that?

    Telescopic meteors come towards us in the field-of-view. It might have been one, depending on the direction of travel.
  5. My first 'scope consisted of a ex-Gov. biconvex lens from H.W.English in the 1950s. The lens was waver-thin and had a focal length of about 56 inches. I also obtained a heavy, brass, gunsight eyepiece from English. My dad then fashioned a steel tube at his place of work and a simple steel alt-az mounting and tripod. Despite the crudeness of this non-achromat, I was astounded to see the mountains and craters on a first quarter Moon. I don't recall there being much chromatism evident. The magnification was about 50X. That first view, made a twelve-year-old feel like he could travel anywhere in the Universe.
  6. Merlin

    In praise of the lowly Plossl

    The reason for the humble Plossl giving sharp definition is because it is actually a type of orthoscopic eyepiece - not conforming exactly to the original ortho, but still orthoscopic in being free from the same aberrations that the Abbe ortho is free from.
  7. What is the observational status of America's classic big refractors these days? Are they used for the benefit of advanced amateurs, as I understand is the case for the Mount Wilson 100-inch reflector?
  8. Merlin

    Monocular Recommendations

    I have the HELIOS "Voyager" zoom monocular. It's a good performer and not expensive.
  9. Merlin

    Magnets and miracles

    The Russians designed a binocular for the military that used a mechanical stabilising system. I think an internal gyroscope did the job. Possibly a windup one.
  10. Merlin

    Socket head screws / bolts

    It's also known as a thumb screw.
  11. Merlin

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    I sometimes wonder why people build huge binocular reflectors, when they can have the same aperture in a single 'scope with a binoviewer. This would be my choice.
  12. Back in the 1970s, before the exponential light pollution explosion, I was able to see the Pelican and North American nebulae in 8X40 binoculars, from the suburban back garden.
  13. Merlin

    5 mW Green laser pointers.

    I like my laser pointer for locating sky objects. I have a back problem and the pen avoids having to bend.
  14. Merlin

    NGC 7789 Caroline's Rose

    This is a gorgeous cluster in a moderate aperture 'scope.
  15. Merlin

    Measuring dark adapted pupil

    It's more difficult to do if we have myopia, as the star will be in focus ( with specs on ), but the bit blurry.

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